Hold on to your seats, fellas. That Toyota -BMW partnership may give birth to its first (concept ) model pretty soon.
It’s been widely believed that the tie-up between the two companies would spawn a variety of performance models, including one that would mark the return of the beloved Supra .
Well, according to Autoblog, it appears that our wishes are about to be answered at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show when the Toyota Supra Concept officially makes its debut. Christmas is still two weeks away, but this is about as cool as an early holiday present to have if you’re a fan of the Supra.
Neither Toyota nor BMW have confirmed this rumor, but for what it’s worth, this is the closest we’ve come to an official date to see the return of one of Toyota’s most beloved models.
Everything really points towards the return of the Supra, too, because a number of Toyota bigwigs have made it known that they want to see the model, or at least a worthy successor to it, return as soon as possible.
Should the NAIAS be the setting for this highly anticipated comeback, expect the Supra Concept to be one of the most talked about models at the event, possibly even for the entire year.
Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Toyota Supra
Fresh off of another dominant showing at the 2013 World Endurance Championship, Audi is taking to heart the saying "the early bird gets the worm" with the early development of the R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car . Testing is set to begin this week with particular emphasis being put on achieving high fuel efficiency, using its sophisticated hybrid drive systems.
That’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a champion that wants to win more and not sit on its laurels and bask in all the glory it has earned.
As for the car itself, the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer is expected to feature a flywheel-based, electric-drive system paired with a powerful TDI engine. Exact specifications have yet to be revealed, but preparations are already underway to build a race car that can take advantage of the company’s expertise in endurance racing, while also fitting in new rules in the WEC with particular focus being paid to efficiency, and the use of advanced fuel-saving technology, like hybrid drive systems and diesel engines, to ensure that the race car is more than just competitive, but one that can live up to Audi’s sustained excellence in endurance racing.
Judging by its looks, the race car retains all the shapes and lines of the current R-18 e-tron quattro that the company used to win the 2013 WEC title. The full-blown, cockpit-style look is going to be kept, as are those vertical LED lights, the swooping flat nose, the enormous rear wing, and those bulging wheel arches that helps in keeping the race car low to the ground.
With Porsche , Toyota , and a host of other brands determined to push Audi off of its pedestal, the company is preparing a revised version of the R18 to ensure that things of those sort never happen.
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s predecessor
Based on the new 2 Series , the M235i Racing was built to be a competitive and ultimately successful entry-level racecar . It’s been fitted with all the basic racing amenities using BMW M Performance Parts, including front and rear spoilers, carbon-fiber mirror caps, and a new rear diffuser.
Likewise, an FIA-certified safety cell and race-spec driving aids like ABS, DSC, and traction control were also installed, as as a limited-slip differential to keep the racecar in tip-top shape when it begins competition at numerous racing series like the VLN Endurance Championship.
And then, there’s the matter of performance upgrades. BMW didn’t release the exact specifications, but it did say that the M235i Racing will be powered by a 3.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine that produces 333 horsepower, nearly identical to the 322-horsepower output of the standard M235i.
The lack of substantial modifications didn’t come by accident, something BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt says was born out of the impressive components that already come out of the BMW M Performance program.
"The range is already incredibly sporty," Marquardt said. "Because of this, we did not have to make many modifications in order to get the BMW M235i Coupe up and running as a racing car."
Any racing team interested in the BMW 235i Racing can avail of the race car for just €59,500, which is about $80,000 based on current exchange rates.
Updated 12/09/2013: BMW Motorsport unveiled a new video featuring the M235i Racing showing the car in action on the race track. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 BMW 2 Series
The folks over at Autocar have been in the automotive-review business long enough to know what makes a good car and what makes a bad one. So yeah, their opinion counts.
Having said that, it’s been a while since we last saw Steve Sutcliffe gush over a car the way he did the Porsche 918 Spyder . And really, you can’t blame the man for doing so because the 918 Spyder really is a treat to the senses.
The 918 Spyder’s combination of throaty power and quiet elegance, a paradox if there ever was one, lends itself to the growing belief that this supercar really is a Porsche masterpiece. Sutcliffe knows what masterpieces look and feel like in his years as one of the finest auto journos in the world.
So seeing him light up after pushing the pedal of the 918 Spyder made us think how cool it would be to drive the hell out of Porsche’s latest creation. If it could make a Sutcliffe turn into a kid once again, who knows how any of us would react if we’re driving this incredible piece of German engineering around.
From the power, to the handling, to the grip, to everything else in-between, the 918 Spyder really has that ’it’ factor that few cars in the world can proudly claim it has.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
How often do you get to experience a super fast luxury station wagon doing insane speeds on test bowl or even a twisty, complicated and undulating test track? Audi UK recently ran a campaign where guests were invited to experience Audi’s ’S’ and ’RS’ range of premium sports cars .
Millbrook proving grounds is a purpose-built test facility in Bedfordshire, England. It includes a high-speed bowl where the cars can be maxed, plus a twisty Alpine test course with elevation changes and tight bends. The Alpine course was designed to mimic actual mountain roads where the car’s high speed handling and stability are pushed to the limit.
Guests got a chance to ride alongside a seasoned driver and experience the limits of the cars. The new Audi RS6 Avant was the star of the show, much to the surprise of just about no one. Despite its immense size and weight, the RS6 was pretty quick around the Alpine track, and on the high-speed bowl, the RS6 hit speeds in excess of 170 mph.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi RS6 Avant
Do you remember the Tracks’ter Concept Kia unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show? Apparently it create such a buzz among customers that Kia decided to offer a special-edition Soul with elements inspired by the concept .
The new limited edition, which Kia dubbed the "Red Zone" Soul , is based on the 2014 Soul + and features a series of upgrades to the exterior and interior. The Red Zone is painted white combined with a number of red accents, just like the concept, and features an aggressively styled body kit.
The interior also offers a nice combination of black with red stitching and accents.
Under its hood, the Soul Red Zone comes with a 2.0-liter, gasoline direct injected (GDI) four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 164 horsepower and mates to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Kia Soul Red Zone Edition goes on sale in the first quarter of 2014 and is limited to only 2,000 units.
Click past the jump to read more about Kia Soul Red Zone Edition.
We all know Google and how heavily we rely upon it for information gathering. Constant updates and improvements keep Google ahead its competition and growing even larger as a search engine. But Google’s latest improvement has car shoppers and gearheads taking note of the new features.
Google’s Knowledge Graph — the information box on the right-hand side of a search results page — now includes info on cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Pricing, EPA estimated fuel economy, trim levels, and even a vehicle’s direct competition will appear in the search.
“You may already use Google to help you make everyday decisions, like what restaurant to pick for dinner or which movie to go see. Starting today, you can also rely on Google’s Knowledge Graph to research a big decision: cars,” Google wrote in a blog post.
While finding a vehicle’s specs and pricing in a condensed format is definitely helpful for car buyers, seeing its direct competition seems even more important for buyers looking to purchase the vehicle best suited for their specific needs. Buying a car is a huge decision – especially considering it’s the average person’s second-largest purchase following their house – and Google is aiming to help consumers be better informed before walking into a dealership.
We love the idea of quick-n-dirty information being a few mouse-clicks away, however we wince at the thought of not doing further research on a more dedicated website such as you’re truly. Shameless self-plugs aside, having such information readily accessible is appealing and we look forward to having production dates, engine options, and trim levels at a fingertip’s reach.
Click past the jump for videos on Google’s Knowledge Graph
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one of several all-electric cars available in the market today. Yes, it’s expensive and and very odd looking, to say the least, but it does have its place in the automotive world. It may not replace a conventionally powered car any time soon, but for quick drive to the nearest supermarket, this could do the job. And while doing so, it would emit zero harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.
Like most electric cars, the i-MiEV is based on a gasoline-powered car — the Mitsubishi i Kei, in this instance — with a few modifications to allow Mitsubishi to squeeze-in an electric motor and a set of batteries. The i Kei was best suited for the conversion, thanks to its long wheelbase and short overhangs that provided decent room for 4 to 5 adults. Additionally, its five-door hatchback design meant there was ample cargo room, as well.
More than the technical drawbacks of an electric car over conventionally powered automobiles is the high cost of manufacturing, which hampers its market penetration. Mitsubishi is striving to get these costs down and appears to have driven them down slightly for 2014, as it has decided to slash the price of the i-MiEV electric car.
With revised pricing and a new list of standard features, how does the i-MiEV stack up against its competition? Read on to find.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
The guys over ThatRacingChannel wanted to see if two European supercar — the McLaren MP4-12C — can take on some of the most modern muscle America has to offer in the 2014 SRT Viper . Why on earth you would want to put two cars that aren’t exactly competitors in a head-to-head competition? Well, the answer is simple: because it’s a whole hell of a lot of fun! And if you have the cars at your disposal, why not?
The SRT Viper is powered by a 8.4-liter, V-10 engine that delivers 640 horsepower at 6,150 rpm and 600 pound-feet of torque at 4,950 rpm. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 206 mph. On the other hand, the MP4-12C is powered by a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 with an output of 616 horsepower that allows it to sprint to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and up to 207 mph.
Check out the video to see which car won the race.
Off-roading in an extreme or remote environment is always an adventure. Potential hazards lurk behind every rock, potential fun waits in every mud hole, and between every tree awaits life-long memories to be made. The opportunity for a great time is easily accessible when in four-wheel-drive.
The guys over at ExtremeTerrain know first hand the fun that off-roading entails and have decided to share the excitement with their EXTRME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST. One winner and one of their lucky friends will get an all-expense-paid trip to three of the most well-know off-roading locations within the United States. ExtremeTerrain will provide a Jeep Wrangler for the winning pair to explore the famous Rubicon trails of California, the hills of Moab, Utah, and the backcountry of Ouray, Colorado for three days and four nights at each location.
ExtremeTerrain, know for their array of aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories, will fly the two to and from each destination with hotel and meals provided. Entry into the contest ends at 6:00:59 PM on January 21, 2014, so if an off-road excursion sounds like your idea of a great weekend, head over ExtremeTerrain’s website to registe. And luckily, ownership of a Jeep vehicle is not a prerequisite.
Click past the jump for more information and photos